May 25, 2010

Andrew Wakefield on the Radio

Today, Andrew Wakefield's book Callous Disregard:Autism and Vaccines: The Truth Behind the Tragedy, is number 72 59 43 29 24 23 13 12 on Amazon's best seller list and climbing. Apparently the public is not buying the slander that the GMC and the Media are dishing out.

At noon eastern, he will be interviewed along with Polly Tommey, Live from the Autism One/Generation Rescue 2010 Conference, on The Voice America health and wellness channel.

Listen in to Callous Disregard, the GMC Determination and the Future, with host Teri Arranga.

May 24, 2010

Thomas Maugh Can't Read (or just doesn't wanna)

Wanna know how the media tries to trick ya into believing that vaccines don't cause autism? Watch closely.

Today in the LA Times, biased health reporter Thomas Maugh wrote that a new research study had been published that showed that Delaying Childhood Vaccinations Does Not Improve Children's Health. Take a moment and read it... it is quite convincing.

Booster Shots
Oddities, musings and news from the health world

Delaying childhood vaccinations does not improve children's health, study finds
May 24, 2010 | 12:11 pm

Now that the thimerosal-autism link has been thoroughly discredited, some autism advocates argue that neurodevelopmental problems are caused by overloading children's immune systems with too many vaccines too early in life. As a result, a growing number of parents are asking pediatricians to use alternative vaccination schedules that spread out the shots, even though there is no evidence to suggest that the practice may be helpful. In fact, common sense suggests that it is more likely to be harmful because the highest incidence of infection and mortality from pertussis, for example, occurs in the first six months of life. Failure to vaccinate also exposes other children in the community to infectious diseases that they might otherwise avoid.

Researchers cannot ethically conduct a clinical trial of delayed vaccinations because of the potential risks to the children involved. In an effort to circumvent this problem, pediatric infectious disease specialists Dr. Michael J. Smith and Dr. Charles R. Woods, both of the University of Louisville School of Medicine, analyzed data on 1,047 children enrolled in a previous study designed to determine whether thimerosal produced an autism risk. The children were born between 1993 and 1997, vaccinated by their parents on a schedule of the parents' choosing, and then subjected to a series of 42 neuropsychological tests between the ages of 7 and 10.

Just under half of the children (491 or 47%) received their vaccines on a timely basis, within 30 days of schedule. An additional 235 (23%) received all vaccinations, but not on schedule, and the remaining children received some but not all vaccines. On-time vaccination was most likely to occur among households in which the mother was highly educated and in which household income was higher.

The Louisville duo reported Monday in the journal Pediatrics that delayed vaccinations did not improve outcomes. In fact, outcomes in this group might have been worse. The researchers found that children vaccinated on time performed higher on 15 of the 42 tests than those who were not vaccinated on time. The latter group did not perform higher on any test. The researchers did not offer a potential explanation for this finding, but it may be linked to the higher household incomes.

Current vaccination schedules call for even more shots, so the results are not directly translatable, the authors conceded. But even with the added shots on the new schedule, children are actually exposed to lower doses of antigens because of improvements in the vaccines, they said, so the safety should remain the same.

"This study provides the strongest clinical outcomes evidence to date that on-time receipt of vaccines during infancy has no adverse effect on neurodevelopmental outcomes 7 to 10 years later," the authors wrote. "These results offer reassuring information that physicians and public health officials may use to communicate with parents who are concerned that children receive too many vaccines too soon."

The study was funded internally at the university. Woods has received honoraria from pharmaceutical companies for speeches and has received research funding from them for other projects.

-- Thomas H. Maugh II

He reviewed (badly) a study that reported that a sample of children who were both vaccinated according to the CDC schedule, and their peers who were unvaccinated or vaccinated selectively, and found that there was no difference in neuropsychological outcomes. The study, according to the authors, was needed in part because:
"as the visible threats of vaccine-preventable diseases have decreased, parental concerns about vaccine safety have increased. Most recently, these concerns have focused on the now debunked links between autism and the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine as well as concerns about the ethyl mercury–
containing preservative thimerosal..."

Well no, the thimerosal link has not been debunked, but lets skip that for now and note that parents greatest vaccine concern these days is autism. So that suggests that this study will address that concern, right?

Thomas Maugh certainly sees it that way. He wrote that the study, "analyzed data on 1,047 children enrolled in a previous study designed to determine whether thimerosal produced an autism risk."

Well GREAT! This looks like one of those studies that I personally have been begging Main Stream Medicine to do! Except that it actually isn't, it doesn't do what Maugh is telling you it does, and it looks to be just another PR stunt.

Maugh might see this too, if he read the whole study carefully. Curiously, the word "autism" only appears twice in the paper. Once in the intro, where I quoted above, and once a full nine pages in, tucked in the last paragraph before the conclusion that curiously reads:

Finally, our analyses were limited to publicly available data from the original study. Future VSD studies without this restriction would be able to assess a wider range of outcomes. These include putative vaccine adverse effects such as neurodevelopmental delay, autism, and autoimmune disorders.

What's that? Neurodevelopmental delay, autism and autoimmune disorders weren't measured? I am confused. I thought that this study was supposed to allay my fears about those things too?

You see this study is not really a new, good study, it is just a rehash of an old, bad study that the New England Journal of Medicine published to make it look like vaccines didn't cause autism. In the fall of 2007, they published a study called, "Early thimerosal exposure and neuropsychological outcomes at 7 to 10 years.", which reported that getting more thimerosal in vaccines didn't cause adverse neuropsych outcomes 7 to 10 years later. (except that if you read the whole study you find that it did cause verbal tics and speech delay). But here is where the sleight of hand takes place... pay close attention.

The abstract of that first study contains this very important note (that none of the media seemed to see):

"(We did not assess autism-spectrum disorders.)"

That's right readers... NONE of these wonderful, fab, illuminating, reassuring studies have anything to do with autism! Autism was part of the EXCLUSION criteria for the first study, therefore it was also not measured in the second study. No children in these two studies had autism. If you had autism, you were not allowed in these studies! (* see note regarding these last two sentences)


(wanted to make sure I got my point across)

But you wouldn't know that from reading Maugh or from the Pediatrics study... you would have to have read the abstract in the New England Journal of Medicine yourself (not the press on it, as that was left out of the media), know that it was not an autism study, to know that this Pediatrics study is not an autism study, to know that Thomas Maugh has no idea what he is talking about. He is either incompetent to report on health research or he is purposefully lying to the public when he claims that this is based on a "previous study designed to determine whether thimerosal produced an autism risk".

You might try to point that out to him, but I have found that he is not really open to discussing the problems in his writing.

So that is how they do it folks... they do a vaccine study, not on autism, but something autism sounding and phrase it so the reader assumes that autism is included, don't mention that autism is not measured in the press release, let journalists print that it actually DOES study autism, then base more studies on that initial study that never mention that autism is not even on the menu, and viola! The public hears lots of stories about how vaccines don't cause autism.

But that one small sentence "(We did not assess autism-spectrum disorders.)" is like the pea under the mattresses for the autism mom princess. It pokes at us and keeps us awake all night, but few others will ever even notice it is there.

* Update:
While I was out of town this week an interesting conversation has taken place in the comments section on this last claim of mine that autism was in the exclusion criteria. I think that I may have made an assumption here. As you can see, it is not explicitly stated that those with autism were excluded from the study. I think I made that leap when reading that autism was not measured.

But it brought up more interesting questions about potential shenanigans in the sampling. To reasoning, this study should have NO ONE with and ASD diagnosis in the sample (as it is not measured) or should have a representative sample of ASD (to the rate in the gen pop of the birth cohort) as would a true random sample.

But neither is stated and as the discussion notes, children were dropped from the study with no explanation of why.

I would like to know the answer to a simple question... how many children with an ASD diagnosis are in this sample?

Mind you, even if there was a representative sample of kids with ASD in it (which I will shocked if there are) it is still not an autism study, so comments sentence "Autism was part of the EXCLUSION criteria for the first study... No children in these two studies had autism. If you had autism, you were not allowed in these studies!" would need to be dropped from this article to make it accurate.

Read the discussion below and thanks to those who held this exchange in my absence.


Another potential problems is the cessation of vaccination following autistic regression.

If you use the sample of my two sons, you would get results that the fewer vaccines one has, the higher the chance of having autism. Because when Chandler regressed after 18 months and 21 doses of vaccines, we stopped vaccinating him. While his older brother received more shots because:

1. He was older and was on the recommended schedule for twice the time his little brother was and
2. We allowed him to have two additional shots after his brother's regression (but he is now done).

So any study would need to take into account vaccination stoppage following regression, which is probably now the norm.

Which is why I think that only a fully vaccinated, completely unvaccinated study would really give us true insight into autism risk according to vaccine intake.

May 15, 2010

Neurotoxic Aluminum Adjuvants, Gulf War Syndrome, ALS, and Alzheimers

Aluminum hydroxide injections lead to motor deficits and motor neuron degeneration

Christopher A. Shaw and Michael S. Petrikc

Departments of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Experimental Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Graduate Program in Neuroscience, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

J Inorg Biochem. 2009 November ; 103(11): 1555. doi:10.1016/j.jinorgbio.2009.05.019.

Gulf War Syndrome is a multi-system disorder afflicting many veterans of Western armies in the 1990–1991 Gulf War. A number of those afflicted may show neurological deficits including various cognitive dysfunctions and motor neuron disease, the latter expression virtually indistinguishable from classical amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) except for the age of onset. This ALS “cluster” represents the second such ALS cluster described in the literature to date. Possible causes of GWS include several of the adjuvants in the anthrax vaccine and others. The most likely culprit appears to be aluminum hydroxide. In an initial series of experiments, we examined the potential toxicity of aluminum hydroxide in male, outbred CD-1 mice injected subcutaneously in two equivalent-to human doses. After sacrifice, spinal cord and motor cortex samples were examined by immunohistochemistry. Aluminum-treated mice showed significantly increased apoptosis of motor neurons and increases in reactive astrocytes and microglial proliferation within the spinal cord and cortex. Morin stain detected the presence of aluminum in the cytoplasm of motor neurons with some neurons also testing positive for the presence of hyper-phosphorylated tau protein, a pathological hallmark of various neurological diseases, including Alzheimer's disease and frontotemporal dementia. A second series of experiments was conducted on mice injected with six doses of aluminum hydroxide. Behavioural analyses in these mice revealed significant impairments in a number of motor functions as well as diminished spatial memory capacity. The demonstrated neurotoxicity of aluminum hydroxide and its relative ubiquity as an adjuvant suggest that greater scrutiny by the scientific community is warranted.

Keywords: Aluminum hydroxide; Adjuvant; Neurotoxicity; Gulf War Syndrome; Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Full paper here

May 10, 2010

A Call to Suspend Contaminated Rotavirus Vaccines

Coalition for Vaccine Safety (CVS) Calls on FDA Commissioner to Immediately Suspend All Contaminated Rotavirus Vaccines

FDA Expert Advisory Panel Fails to Follow Safety First Agenda for Childhood Vaccines Containing DNA from Pig Viruses

WASHINGTON, May 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Friday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) convened a panel of experts to review recent findings that rotavirus vaccines given to infants in the U.S., Rotateq, produced by Merck Pharmaceuticals and Rotarix produced by GlaxoSmithKline, are contaminated with DNA from pig viruses PCV1 and PCV2. On March 22nd the FDA Commissioner asked doctors to suspend use of the Rotarix vaccine due to the contamination. Upon additional testing, Rotateq was also found to be contaminated.

At the meeting, the experts acknowledged that the PCV2 virus is known to cause a wasting disease in pigs, similar in type to the AIDS virus in humans. While acknowledging that the entire short and long term risks from the porcine circoviruses PCV1 and PCV2 are as yet unknown, the advisory panel decided that 'the benefits of the vaccine trump its risks.' By contrast, health authorities in Hong Kong ordered an immediate recall of Merck Rotateq despite the U.S. panel's recommendation to keep the vaccine on the market.

Shocked at the advisory panel's recommendations for the health and safety of American children, the Coalition for Vaccine Safety (CVS) calls on FDA Commissioner Hamburg to re-assess the panel's hastily-considered risk-benefit analysis and suspend the use of both rotavirus vaccines. Steering Committee member Mary Holland said, "How can you say the benefits outweigh the risks when you don't know what the risks are?" A safety first agenda demands suspension of the vaccines immediately while the short and long term risks are studied, especially since rotavirus is a relatively benign and treatable gastrointestinal disease that is rarely fatal in the United States.

The risks from PCV1 and PCV2 are real and potentially testable by analyzing lymphoid tissues, which is where the human immunodeficiency virus hides during its latency period. Immediate independent analysis should be done on children and primates who have received these vaccines before another child receives the rotavirus vaccine. According to CVS member Lyn Redwood, RN, "It is impossible for parents to give free and informed consent to a vaccine containing pig virus DNA when their risks are unknown. To continue to administer these vaccines given the impossibility of informed consent is unethical."

The FDA expert panel's failure to urge suspension of contaminated vaccines underscores the need for immediate Congressional hearings on vaccine safety. The apparent conflicts of interest in the U.S. vaccine program are illustrated by the fact that the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) until January 2009, Dr. Julie Gerberding, is now the President of Merck Vaccines. In 2007, under her stewardship, 97% of CDC outside experts failed to complete their conflict of interest disclosure forms as required by law. The lack of direct corporate accountability for vaccine products, codified by the 1986 Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Act, further complicates conflicts of interests in the national vaccine program.

CVS is an alliance of organizations dedicated to vaccine safety representing over 75,000 families. In recent letters to the Chairmen and Ranking Members of House and Senate Committees charged with oversight of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Coalition called for hearings to investigate HHS, CDC and other government agencies. These federal agencies have failed to comply with the terms of the 1986 Vaccine Injury Compensation Act (VICA) by not providing critical vaccine safety science.

For more information on vaccine safety, visit


Lyn Redwood, RN (404) 932-1786

Mary Holland, Esq. (917) 743-3868

May 7, 2010

Reason for Hope: Docs Telling Sales Reps to Take a Hike

A little ray of light for my dream of wise physicians will take back their profession at Pharmalot.

Doctors to Sales Reps: Take a Hike

Turns out Autism IS associated with GI disorders

... who knew?

And oddest thing of all, this was "discovered" by Autism Speaks and The Autism Treatment Network, which is Kennedy Krieger, which is Johns Hopkins, not exactly friendly factions to biomed really.

So you think that they will pick up the phone and call ARI and apologize for dissing them for a decade or so, and then say sorry to the children who have been suffering while they conferenced and committied and scoffed and vacationed?

[2320.7] GI Symptoms in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD): An Autism Treatment Network Study

Kent Williams, George J. Fuchs, Glenn Furuta, Margaret Marcon, Daniel L. Coury, Autism Treatment Network GI Committee. Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN; University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AK; University of Colorado at Denver, Denver, CO; Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada; Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, OH.

BACKGROUND: The prevalence of GI symptoms in children and adolescents with ASD is uncertain, with studies reporting conflicting results.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the frequency of GI symptoms as reported by parents in a large ASD registry, and to identify factors associated with GI symptoms in children with ASD.

DESIGN/METHODS: Autism Treatment Network Registry enrolled 1420 children, age 2-18 years, with an ADOS-confirmed ASD diagnosis (autism, Asperger disorder, or PDD-NOS) at 15 sites in the US and Canada. Parents completed a GI symptom inventory tailored to the needs of nonverbal children, as well as Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), Child Sleep Health Questionnaire (CSHQ) and Pediatric Quality of Life (PedsQL) at time of enrollment.

RESULTS: GI symptom data were available for 1185 children. Overall 45% of children were reported to have GI symptoms at time of enrollment. Of GI complaints that occurred within the 3 months prior to enrollment, abdominal pain was most common (59%) followed by constipation (51%), diarrhea (43%), other (40%), nausea (31%) and bloating (26%). Reports of GI symptoms increased with age, ranging from 39% in those under 5 years to 51% in those 7 years and older (p<0.0001). Children ages 1 to 5 years with GI symptoms had higher CBCL t-scores for total problems and for the emotionally reactive, anxious/depressed, somatic complaints, sleep problems, internalizing problems, affective problems, and anxiety problems subscales, all p<0.05. Children ages 6 to 18 years with GI symptoms had higher CBCL t-scores for total problems and for all subscales (p<0.01). Sleep problems occurred more frequently in children with than those without GI symptoms (70% versus 30%, p<0.0001). Children with GI symptoms had lower PedsQL scores (overall score and all five subscales, p<0.01) compared to children without GI problems. Presence of GI problems did not differ by gender, ASD subtype, race, or IQ. CONCLUSIONS: Parents of children with ASD report a high prevalence of GI symptoms in their children. This prevalence increases with age. GI complaints are significantly associated with behavioral abnormalities in all age groups. GI symptoms are also significantly associated with sleep disturbances and decreased health-related quality of life. Further definition is needed on the role and potential impact of treatment of GI disorders on behavior, sleep disturbance, and quality of life in children with ASD.

And don't forget to tune into NBC to see Dr. Nancy apologize and BBC America to see the British Medical Establishment express their profound regret to Wakefield et. al and the families they have sabotaged as their children languished in GI distress that they claimed didn't exist.

Brian Deer must feel really awful right now. I can't imagine his guilt.

May 5, 2010

Offit Offensive Has Failed, Vaccine-Autism War Continues, Child Vaccine Refusals Increase in U.S.

I was going to write something, but it turns out Harold already wrote it. So go read it there.

AAP, CDC, HHS, Public Health... what is your plan? Is this really it? You really gonna ride this train right of the side of the cliff?